The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Refugee Brutally Beaten in Toronto
Toronto Star, June 1993 (A2)


By Peter Small

A vicious, racially motivated beating that has left a Tamil refugee claimant partially paralyzed is part of an alarming increase in neo-Nazi thuggery, anti-racism groups say.

Next week, Metro police plan to release statistic on this year's number of crimes based on hatred of race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation. A police source has pegged the number at around *70. Ottawa police are probing 80 hate-based crimes since January, said Detective Dan Dunlop of that city's bias crime unit.

"There's no question that there has been an increase in agressive or assaultive behavior by neo-Nazis and racist factions in Canada," said Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress. "The real question is: is it planned, or just part and parcel of a criminal mindset?"

Farber blamed the increase on a lack of police will to fight. "Racist groups and individuals are pushing and pushing, and no one is pushing back," he said.

Antoni Shelton, executive director of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, agreed racist attacks are on the rise and blamed neo-fascist groups and their successful youth recruitment drives.

"The rise of these groups around the country has been documented," Shelton said, adding that the alliance wants more documentation of hate crimes themselves to better tackle them.

Two weekends ago, more than **500 white supremacists and anti-racist protesters clashed in front of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. Three arrests were pending in that melee yesterday.

In Kitchener last week, a man and a youth were charged after a Jewish store owner confronted three people, two wearing Nazi regalia, and a fight ensued.

In Sunday's brutal beating, Sivarajah Vinasithamby, 41, was attacked as he was finishing his shift as a dishwasher at the Tasty restaurant on Bloor St. W. near Clinton St. at about 1:30 a.m.

Police describe the attack as unprovoked and racially motivated. "I'm very worried for his life," said his wife, Sivarajah Bawany, 33, through a translator.

She has been spending all day by his bedside in Toronto Western Hospital, while their three children, girls aged two and eight and a boy aged six, are looked after by a cousin's family.

It's the first instance of bigotry the man's family has encountered in Canada, said his cousin, Para Sinnathurai, 40.

Described by fellow restaurant workers as quiet and friendly, Vinasithamby fled to Canada two years ago to escape persecution after the Sri-Lankan army took over his village, his cousin said.

He had taught high school science there while working toward a bachelor of science degree, Sinnathurai said.

His wife has a bachelor of economics degree and is studying English and typing so she can get a job.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp, and was posted to UseNet by; the article contains additional information from Toronto's Anti-Racist Action, an organization which appears to accept violence as a political solution - an acceptance Nizkor does not share.

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